In preparation for Prometheus, I finally sat down and watched Alien for the first time. I have put off watching Alien because it scared me. The movie was very intense but I don’t think it will give me nightmares or keep me up at night.
Below are some reflections I had while watching Alien.
Bigness and Intimacy
I mostly know Alien director Ridley Scott from his epic movies like Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven. With that in mind, I thought that Alien would be a large, epic movie. I was very wrong. Instead of a sweeping space opera, Alien was a very small and intimate movie. There are only seven characters and most of the movie takes place within the confines of a small ship. Gladiator was big and Alien was intimate. It’s hard for movies to be both. God on the other hand has bigness and intimacy figured out. He’s the all-powerful creator of the universe yet he intimate lyand passionately loves us. He knows how many stars are in the heavens but he also knows how many hairs are on our head. I enjoyed the bigness of Gladiator and the intimacy of Alien. I enjoy that God has both.
As stated above part of the intimacy in Alien comes from the small crew aboard the Nostromo. The seven crewmembers form a tightknit community that doesn’t always get along. As the alien begins wreaking havoc aboard the ship, though, they realize their best hope for survival is to band together. Thankfully we don’t have to deal with acid-spewing aliens in our everyday lives, but our best hope for success is still banding together with other people. God created us to be in community and we are at our best when we connect our lives to others. This has particular meaning for me, because it’s the community of marriage that will allow me to sleep after watching Alien. Because my life is connected to Alycia’s, she’ll be there to help protect me as we go to sleep.
I wrote about by longtime fear of the Alien movies. After finally watching Alien, though, it wasn’t that scary. It was a good movie and definitely suspenseful, but not nearly as frightening as I had built it up in my mind to be. A lot of times our fears aren’t nearly as big as we make them out to be. That is especially true when we choose to obey God’s command to “fear not”. When taken on their own, our fears can seem extremely large and imposing. When compared to our God who is infinitely powerful and infinitely loving, they don’t seem that bad. We just need to obey God when he says to “fear not”, especially when it comes to fears of future and provision, not just aliens and facehuggers.
I faced a fear in watching Alien and I’m excited to sit down and watch Aliens next. I’ve heard that the third and fourth Alien movies aren’t that great, but maybe they’ll help fill out my Prometheus experience.
My newfound courage has helped me conquer Alien; maybe it will also help me conquer church greeting time this weekend.
What are your memories or thoughts about Alien?